Today, consumers expect more and more functionality on their devices, and their television set is no exception. This is the reason televisions increasingly have capabilities to support a wide variety of Internet-connected services, like streaming over-the-top (OTT) video content, access to apps and Web browsing, games and music and photo sharing. With smart TVs, users will be able to instruct their TV to dim the lights, display footage from their home security camera, show who is standing at the front door, or even see what’s inside the fridge.
What Are Smart TVs?
Smart Tv is an “intelligent TV,” that can be connected to the Internet to allow users to access streaming video services (such as Netflix or Hulu), other online media or entertainment, such as music, on-demand video, and web browsers. Many Smart TVs have their own App Stores, making them more similar to large-screen computers than traditional displays.
The Pros and Cons
Smart TVs uses data which can be used for a wide range of useful features (including measurement, recommendations, and interactivity features such as song recognition), it can also be used for personalized advertising in potentially unexpected or intrusive ways.
However, millions of smart TVs from Samsung, for example, has been found to be vulnerable to cyber attacks, allowing intruders to take control and remotely change channels and volume settings, among other things. In the midst of this ongoing explosion in “intelligent” consumer electronics, people continue to see the concern about these TVs
Vulnerabilities were discovered not only in Samsung televisions but also in other brands according to some consumers report. Further, the affected televisions and devices collect a wide range of personal data, Consumer Reports noted, and users who choose to limit their data collection would risk limiting the functionality of their TV.
The report is based on a wide-ranging security and privacy review of major brands, including Vizio, LG, and Sony.
The industry for Smart TVs and Smart TV data, much like the broader “Internet of Things” ecosystem, is just beginning to exist. In the absence of baseline privacy legislation that would provide minimum standards for commercial collection and use of personal information, there is little consensus or consistency between different TV manufacturers about the appropriate ways to collect and use data. Smart TVs promise a range of benefits and interactive features but are also collecting data for advertising and commercial purposes that might surprise many Smart TV users.
As more consumers start to use Smart TVs as a central hub for connected home devices, good security is also critical. Ironically, strong security practices can make it more difficult for independent researchers to evaluate privacy features.